RBS welcomes $260,000 funding boost in 2018 State Budget

Rural Business Support (RBS) has welcomed a $260,000 funding boost to deliver rural financial counselling services announced in this week’s State Budget. Chief Executive Officer Brett Smith said it was great news for producers who were experiencing drought like conditions in many parts of South Australia.

The funding will allow RBS to extend its delivery of rural financial counselling services from three years to four, until June 2020.

“The State Government’s support for the rural financial counselling service is important to ensure producers have access to the help they need during these times,” Mr Smith said. “Throughout the state, many areas are currently under pressure due to the lack of rainfall. If we have a short spring, this pressure will only increase.

“This welcomed initiative allows us to get on and provide a crucial service to SA farmers in difficult circumstances.”

The State Budget announcement coupled with the provision of additional Federal Government funding cements the certainty of rural financial counselling services for SA producers. Rural Business Support will be increasing its team to include 13 full time equivalent rural financial counsellors and support staff to ensure the ongoing strong demand for services is met and managed well.

Mr Smith said the 2018-19 State Budget delivered many other benefits for SA producers, including a commitment to waive $1.6 million in oyster industry fees.

“The direct impact of POMS interstate has destabilised the oyster industry and many SA oyster farmers have subsequently been affected,” Mr Smith said.

“While there have been no POMS outbreaks in any SA oyster farming areas, the ban on the transfer of spat from interstate has severely affected production.

“We have been working closely with many oyster producers so this is a very significant announcement for the industry and will help to ease the pressure off these producers.”

Mr Smith said flexibility on stamp duty exemptions for transferring the family farm was also welcomed.

“This will be very useful in terms of potential succession planning and the transfer of properties between generations and for the acquisition of family farms,” he said.

“It’s another very welcome initiative for SA producers.”

Media enquiries: Brett Smith, Rural Business Support, CEO, on 08 8364 2577, 0412 630 015 or email b.smith@ruralbusinesssupport.org.au